Many of you have heard me tell this story. In July 2001, I got a new job as the VP of Operations for Marsh & McLennan’s internet group. My office was on the 96th Floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. On the morning of September 11th, there were dozens of little things I did on my way to work that I didn’t usually do: I hit the snooze button twice, dropped off my laundry, picked up my held mail (and stopped to toss the junk mail), took the local train instead of the express, and numerous other small decisions that caused me to arrive at work five minutes late.
At 8:45am, I got off the subway and came outside in time to hear a loud explosion. I looked up and saw a gaping hole in the side of the building where my office had been. None of my 297 coworkers who were already at work survived. I don’t know how long I stood there, but after the second plane hit, mass hysteria broke out and I ran. I met up with my girlfriend (now wife) at her office and we walked home desperately trying to make sense of what had happened.
Three months later, I’m sitting on the beach with a piña colada in my hand, lamenting about how terrible my life was: Before starting at Marsh & McLennan, I had to close down an internet company and lay off 30 people, including myself. And then, I was almost hit by a plane. My glass was half empty, but then I thought about all the good things that had happened that year: I survived 9/11, I met my wife playing co-ed softball, and I was able to enjoy my passion of playing sports.
I began reflecting on my life and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I played in numerous sports leagues, and while I loved the sports and camaraderie, I was disappointed with the lack of organization and disrespectful customer service. I knew I could do better. While thinking about the changes in the NYC community after 9/11, I saw people being selfless and was inspired to give back.
That was the moment. I decided to combine sports, social and charity and create ZogSports. My goal that day was the same as it is now: to bring people together through sports and incorporate charity into things that people want to do anyway (like play team sports, meet new people and hang out with their friends)!
All of this inspires what we do at Zog — both for ZogSports and ZogCulture — and how we do it every day!